how does alibaba make money

In this blog, we will discuss the topic that is “How does Alibaba make money”, We will also look at the business operations and sectors of Alibaba, as well as the many methods in which the firm generates revenue, among other things.

how does alibaba make money

Alibaba makes money through commissions on transactions and fees for merchants with a storefront on Alibaba’s most popular website is In contrast to eBay, there is no transaction charge for merchants using this service. Instead, businesses are required to pay for the use of advertising space., Taobao, and Tmall are the company’s three principal online marketplaces. They all provide communication between different sorts of customers and suppliers. The remaining six Alibaba-owned firms are Aliexpress, 1688, Alimama, Alibaba Cloud, Ant Financial, and Cainiao Network. Due to the fact that all of these businesses work so effectively together, the Alibaba group is a vast ecosystem unto itself. is the world’s biggest online wholesale marketplace, ranking first in terms of worldwide commerce. Exporters from China and other nations may use the platform to connect with customers in more than 200 countries. The bulk of purchasers are wholesalers, merchants, manufacturers, or small businesses engaged in international commerce.

The firm also provides various import/export supply chain services, such as customs brokerage.

·       Customs clearance, VAT return, trade finance, and logistic services are some of the services offered.

There is no fee to place products on the website’s inventory. They may also be able to increase their exposure on the platform and provide an unlimited number of items in exchange for an extra cost.

Buyers and sellers may interact and do business on the marketplace. It acts as a middleman, charging commissions to sellers on the Chinese mainland, in Hong Kong, and in Taiwan, among other places. Commissions, on the other hand, are not the exclusive source of revenue.

Alibaba offers two types of supplier membership:

Supplier Membership Is Complimentary

Suppliers are not obligated to sell their products on Alibaba. They are allowed to freely advertise up to 50 goods on the internet and get business inquiries. Commissions are accessible to sellers on the Chinese mainland only if they use AliPay for payment and are based on the Chinese mainland. Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are included in this category.

Premium Gold Supplier Membership

Alibaba’s free supplier account is restricted to 50 products on the marketplace and is unverifiable (which reduces the trust of the buyer). China-based suppliers must subscribe to’s premium gold supplier membership plan in order to do business on the site, which is not free.

Suppliers may become certified Gold Suppliers by paying a charge ranging from several thousand to several hundred thousand dollars.

Membership in the Gold Supplier programme is conditional on each member meeting all conditions. Additionally, third-party credit reporting organizations are required to conduct a thorough identification and verification process prior to delivering credit reports.

What is Alibaba?

Though BABA is headquartered in the Cayman Islands, it still operates its e-commerce business via Chinese subsidiaries and variable interest entities (VIEs). In order to link buyers and sellers through digital methods, its major focus is on digital marketplaces. The massive e-commerce activities at the core of Alibaba may be divided into four broad groups.

When it comes to global e-commerce giants like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Tencent Holdings Ltd. is a direct rival to Amazon Inc. (AMZN). Alibaba competes with other businesses in the areas of cloud computing and digital media and entertainment.

Business segments of Alibaba

In order to monetise its services, Alibaba divides them into four primary business categories, which are officially designated as follows:

·       In other words, trade (formerly Core Commerce)

·       On-Demand Computing

·       Innovations in Digital Media and Entertainment

Revenue and adjusted EBITA are segmented in the company’s financial statements. Additionally, it is used to account for the company’s unallocated expenses, such as corporate administration and other non-divisional costs. We omitted these unallocated items from the percentages shown in the pie charts and following subsections for each business sector since they were not assigned to a specific organization.


As part of its commerce business, which encompasses online retail and wholesale, as well as the wholesale market, the company provides logistics and local consumer services. To raise funds from merchants, the organization uses a range of techniques, such as the sale of various marketing services, membership dues, customer management services, product sales, transaction commissions, and software licensing costs. Income from platform fees and on-demand delivery services are among the company’s most important sources of revenue from local customers.

Alibaba’s most lucrative section is commerce, which produced $27.9 billion in revenue in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022, accounting for almost 88 percent of the company’s overall revenue. Sales in the sector increased 35.2 percent year over year over the same three-month period last year.

Cloud Computing

Databases, storage, administration, and application services are just a few of the many features available on the Alibaba Cloud. In addition, machine learning platforms and big data analytics are available. Cloud computing services are paid for based on a variety of criteria, including the length of time a company has been utilizing them and the nature of its business.

More than a third of Alibaba’s revenue comes from cloud computing, which generated $2.5 billion in sales in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022, accounting for more than 8% of total revenue in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022. This industry’s revenue increased by 29.1 percent in the preceding year, according to the available statistics.

Digital Entertainment and Media

Customers who are not actively engaged in Alibaba’s main commerce activities, such as digital media and entertainment, contribute significantly to the company’s income. Customer management services, in-house built online games, and membership fees are the primary income streams for this division.

Alibaba’s third-largest income stream in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022 was digital media and entertainment, accounting for $1.3 billion, or more than 4% of total sales. By comparison, sales in this category increased 15.4 percent year over year. Alibaba announced an adjusted EBITA net loss of $65 million for its operational performance in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022.

·       The exchange of goods and services between China and other nations. The retail and wholesale markets in China are the two components that make up the Chinese marketplace.

·       China’s retail marketplaces include the Taobao Marketplace, Tmall, and Juhuasuan, to name a few. Chinese shoppers make purchases of products and services via these channels. When customers browse or search on the Taobao marketplace, they see product listings from both the Taobao marketplace and the Tmall marketplace. This Chinese phrase literally translates as “to seek fortune,” and it is often used to describe internet auctions.

· is a wholesale marketplace that operates in China. Chinese wholesalers and manufacturers offer their wares to Chinese merchants via the website

·       Trade on a global scale. Among the categories under which this category is divided are International Retail Marketplaces and International Wholesale Marketplaces.

·       AliExpress is one of the most prominent online retail platforms in the world, with over 100 million visitors every month. AliExpress is an online marketplace where Chinese wholesalers and manufacturers sell directly to clients all around the globe.

· is one of the most prominent worldwide wholesale marketplaces, with over 100 million visitors every month. Chinese manufacturers and wholesalers sell their wares on to clients all over the globe, including buyers in the United States. also functions as a global platform for wholesale suppliers and customers from all over the globe. is owned by Alibaba Group.

Innovation Initiatives and Others

Among other things, Alibaba’s innovation projects aim to produce new services and products that are especially tailored to the demands of its consumers. This category of applications includes, but is not limited to, Amap, a digital navigation tool, and DingTalk, a network communication tool. Customer service fees and product sales are the primary sources of income for this sector.

In conclusion, We discussed “How does Alibaba make money”, We found out that Alibaba makes money through commissions on transactions and fees for merchants with a storefront on Alibaba’s most popular website is In contrast to eBay, there is no transaction charge for merchants using this service. Instead, businesses are required to pay for the use of advertising space.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ): How does Alibaba makes money

What percentage does Alibaba take?

Regarding commissions and take rates, sellers on pay a fee of 0 percent on the vast majority of transactions. Sellers on AliExpress may earn up to 8% commission. Despite the fact that two platforms are distinct, none is better or worse than the other.

How profitable is Alibaba?

Due to increased investment in the company’s nascent business, e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding announced an 87 per cent year-on-year reduction in net income for the September quarter, falling short of analysts’ estimates. Net income dropped to 3.4 billion yuan (US$524 million) from 26.5 billion yuan a year earlier, compared to a year earlier.

What is Alibaba’s business model?

On the internet, Alibaba works as a middleman between buyers and sellers, facilitating the exchange of commodities between them via its enormous network of websites. Taobao, the biggest site, operates as a fee-free marketplace, meaning that neither sellers nor buyers are charged a fee for completing transactions.

Is Alibaba bigger than Amazon?

Alibaba is a smaller company than Amazon, but it is expanding at a somewhat quicker pace than Amazon. Alibaba’s sales increased by 41 percent in fiscal 2021 (which ended in March), or by just 32 percent if the company’s acquisition of hypermarket operator Sun Art is excluded from the calculation. Alibaba anticipates that its revenue would increase by 20 percent to 23 percent in fiscal year 2022.

How did Alibaba become so successful?

Profits from ads and keyword bidding account for the majority of Alibaba’s revenue, accounting for 57 percent of overall revenue. Alibaba is able to benefit from the vast number of consumers that utilize the platform, as well as through advertising, keyword bidding, and customer data collected on the site.

Can you get scammed on Alibaba?

Yes, there are fraudsters on Alibaba, just as there are scammers on other internet platforms. But this is nothing new. There are strategies for making better decisions and reducing risks.

Can I sell on Alibaba for free?

It is completely free to become a member of Alibaba, but for individuals who are serious about taking use of all the company has to offer, particularly the client base and site functionality, a Gold Membership may be worth considering. There are three distinct Gold Membership Levels available at the moment: Basic, Standard, and Premium.


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